Ref who was targeted by Texas high school players speaks out
Robert Watts, the official who was targeted during a game by two high school football players in Texas earlier this month, has spoken about the event that made national headlines and led to John Jay High assistant coach admitting that he called for the hit.
In a five-page sworn statement obtained by USA Today, Watts describes the attack in detail and says he could feel two separate hits on the back of his head and right side of his body.
I stood up and threw my flag, knowing that neither hit could be by accident. My first comment was to John Jay #12. I asked him, “Why did you hit me?” He started to walk away and did not speak. I said to John Jay #12, “Did you hit me on purpose?” Again, he did not respond. I then turned to John Jay #7, believing that he had hit me. I asked John Jay #7 why he had hit me. His response was, “You were in the way.” He then laughed. Video evidence later revealed that the play ended with #7 near me but that #81 was the player who hit me a second time.
Watts later says he asked Gary Gutierrez, John Jay’s head coach, for the names of the players involved in the play and he could not provide them.
I went over to Coach Gutierrez and told him that I needed the names of his players #7, #11 and #12. He told me that he did not know their names. He said that he had forgotten them. He wanted to know what my name was. I told him that I had introduced myself twice prior to the game and that we had given him our names on a card prior to the game.
For Watts’ full statement, go here.